AMMAN, July 18 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday called for taking immediate action to address its funding crisis to avoid dire consequences for refugees.
Dominik Bartsch, the UN refugee agency's representative in Jordan, said that the current shortfall in funding for refugee response is threatening the significant progress made over the past decade, the state-run Al Mamlaka TV reported.
He voiced concerns about the Jordanian government's ability to maintain essential health and education services for the refugees in the kingdom.
In previous years, continuous support helped Syrian refugees to enter the labor market, but there is a risk that the overall refugee situation could turn into a humanitarian crisis for both refugees and host communities, Bartsch said.
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) on Tuesday announced that further cuts in food assistance to the refugees in Jordan have become unavoidable due to a funding shortfall.
The WFP will have to reduce monthly aid by a third for the 119,000 Syrian refugees living in the Zaatari and Azraq camps of Jordan. The monthly financial assistance for Syrian refugees living in these camps would be lowered to 21 U.S. dollars from 32 dollars starting in August.
This WFP announcement followed a series of aid cuts in recent months, which forced NGOs to suspend health services in the camps of Zaatari and Azraq and led to a significant decline in the quality and availability of health services.
Commending Jordan's significant efforts to aid refugees, Bartsch urged donors to be aware of the risks ahead. He underlined the need for a coordinated and strategic response to help Jordan host the refugees successfully.